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Europe leads AI regulation: key takeaways from the Global Education Madrid 2024

Europe leads AI regulation: key takeaways from the Global Education Madrid 2024

The Global Education Forum Madrid 2024, organised by Camilo José Cela University, was an essential meeting point to discuss the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on education and society. During the ‘AI and the Global Scale’ panel discussion, Carme Artigas, Co-Chair AI Advisory Body at the United Nations, and Marc Rottenberg, Executive Director and Founder of the Center for AI and Digital Policy, shared their insights.

Carme Artigas emphasised the need to regulate AI due to its unprecedented impact not only on the economy but also on society. “AI is not just another technology; it has an unprecedented impact on means of production and society,” Artigas pointed out. She highlighted the importance of the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act, emphasising that it is the first time a technology is being regulated from a blank slate. “We wanted to be technologically neutral because technology is neither good nor bad; high-risk use cases can be regulated,” she explained.

Marc Rotenberg praised the European legislation, describing it as “the most significant in artificial intelligence worldwide”. He stated that the law establishes important prohibitions in areas such as social scoring and subliminal manipulation, addressing critical concerns about equity and safety in AI use. “This legislation will have a global impact, similar to the GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation],” Rotenberg affirmed, highlighting the need to maintain a focus on justice and transparency in AI.

The panel discussion also addressed the rapid evolution of AI and the need for regulations to be forward-looking and flexible. Artigas spoke about the “ChatGPT moment” that changed the landscape and the need for transparency in black-box AI models. She also stressed the importance of protecting fundamental rights and prohibiting certain uses of AI, such as mass surveillance and biometric classification.

Global consensus on AI regulation

Regarding the situation in the United States, Rotenberg highlighted the efforts of the Biden administration to regulate AI through an executive order, although he noted that the legislative path is still under development. He also mentioned state laws that address transparency and protection against misuse of AI.

Both experts agreed on the need for global consensus and multilateral governance to tackle the challenges of AI. “The need for global consensus is the next big challenge in AI regulation,” Artigas stated.

The Global Education Forum not only served to discuss AI regulation and challenges but also to explore its enormous opportunities, especially in education. “AI has the potential to significantly improve our daily lives, but it must be handled with care and responsibility,” Rotenberg concluded.



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